This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: It's All About The Money, Money, Money
Our buddy Karl Henkel may not be able to handle his brisket, but he's definitely on top of the why-Gen Y/Millenials-haven't-bought-all-the-cars beat.
In today's installment we hear about a Deloitte LLP study released yesterday that says 60% of Gen Y consumers want to buy a car in the next three years, and only 10% say they never plan to buy or lease a car.
The report also found that, duh, 80% said the biggest barrier is the price of a car.
If there's one downside in the report it's this:
"While Gen Y may not necessarily scrutinize horsepower, acceleration times or engine size, they do have clear needs, wants and desires, especially when it comes to remaining connected to all of their lifestyle technology while on the road," said Masa Hasegawa, principal, in a statement. "This is good news for carmakers, who already offer — or are bringing to market — many of the features Gen Y consumers most want in a vehicle."
2nd Gear: Elon Musk Says All Sorts Of Crazy Things
Boldness is never a quality that Elon Musk is wanting for, and with his stock up 4.0% to $170.97 maybe it's not a quality he needs to abandon.
Still, at their press conference in Detroit, a company exec tried to skirt the idea of NHTSA issuing a "recall" over charging issues by pointing out that all the updates were down "over the air" with a software rewrite.
Semantically, I agree that "recall" isn't the best word for the modern age since the cars don't have to go into the shop.
That's all fine and good if we want to make that argument, but here's Bloomberg explaining why that's not the best idea for him:
As Musk looks to start selling into the safety-conscious mass market within three years, he wants to dispel any notion that owning a Tesla is inherently dangerous. Yet by sparring publicly with NHTSA, he risks rankling a regulator that could force costly alterations or fine Tesla millions of dollars for not reporting what it considers safety defects.
I have a feeling that Musk ain't care.
3rd Gear: The Other Fiat Heir
We talk a lot about Lapo Elkann because he's the fiat heir who was saved from an overdose by transvestite prostitutes and drives crazy camo Jeeps.
But there's another Elkann who, at the moment, is more important. John Elkann may keep a lower profile than his little brother but he's the reigning heir of the Agnelli family, who controls Fiat and thus now owns Chrysler.
Elkann, known as Jaki to family members, is Gianni's eldest grandchild and the son of his daughter Margherita and Alain Elkann, a French-Italian writer. An avid sailor and soccer player, Elkann is tall and thin with tousled dark hair and a boyish smile. When he speaks, which isn't often in public, his delivery is slow and deliberate as if he's weighing each word. He's married to aristocrat Lavinia Borromeo and has three kids named using the Italian words for lion, ocean and life.
In Detroit, Elkann said that Marchionne will stick around to see out the European turnaround plan, putting off the decision on an eventual successor as they work to further internationalize the former icon of Italian industry. That means the two will continue a journey started over dinner and a Grappa on the shores of Lake Geneva in 2004.
4th Gear: U.S. Offloading More Ally Financial Shares
Don't forget we also bailed out Ally Financial, which used to be GMAC, which was GM's credit arm.
That lender took in about $17.2 billion in TARP money but, as The Washington Post points out, we're going to get most of that money back with a recent sale of shares.
The department said that, once the sale is complete, the government will have recovered about $15.3 billion, or 89 percent of the $17.2 billion it handed to Ally through the Troubled Assets Relief Program. A portion of the returns is the result of dividend payments.
The government will still own about 37% of the company after the sale.
5th Gear: Does BMW Need To Worry About Jaguar Land Rover?
While their sales are still relatively small, JaguarLand Rover is much closer to the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes than it has been in the recent past, selling a record 425,006 vehicles last year.
And, as The Wall Street Journal points out, they're going to invest $1.64 billion to build a factory in China.
They're also looking at Saudi Arabia given that, you know, people in that part of the world like Jaguars. Reverse:
On this day in 1953, a prototype Chevrolet Corvette sports car makes its debut at General Motors' (GM) Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Corvette, named for a fast type of naval warship, would eventually become an iconic American muscle car and remains in production today.
Neutral: Can You Have High Tech And High Performance? Will the STI replace the Corvette Z06?
Photo Credit: Getty Images